Monday, March 05, 2007

I Am a Victor, Not a Victim

"I am a victor, not a victim," is one of the affirmations I began using on my road to emotional health. Before I could rise up from the pit of depression, I had to face the fact that it was my own repression that led to my depression. I could have fought back. I didn't have to take it lying down.

One of the more intense and intensely important lessons I have learned on my journey is that we have the power to be in complete control of our responses.

Whether or not we take offense to something someone says or does is entirely up to us. People can even do things with the intention of hurting us, and we can decide to frame it in a way that no damage is done.

Now, I don't know anyone who has actually attained to this level of invincibility, but I know it can be done. It just makes sense.

The reason something hurts us is because we interpret it in a hurtful manner. We can choose other interpretations besides personal damage.

For instance, if someone makes a racial slur, we can interpret it as a personal injury or we can interpret it as an ignorant comment coming from an immature personality.

Someone asks, "Where did you get that shirt?" We can interpret it as an insult to our sense of style or an expression of personal preference. One is hurtful, the other is not.

Someone takes some action that undermines our work. We can choose to believe they are trying to knock us off the ladder so they can occupy our rung, or we can choose to believe they are attracting some lesson in how not to conduct themselves on the job.

The point is, we are free to be victims, but we don't have to be. It's our choice.

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